No. 250.
Mr. Chang Yen Hoon to Mr. Bayard.

Sir: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your note dated the 28th of December, 1887, inclosing a draught of a projet for a treaty, and also relative to an alleged systematic evasion of the restriction upon the immigration of Chinese laborers imposed by laws passed in pursuance [Page 382] of the treaties, being practiced by Chinese professing to have gone away from the United States and claiming the right to return hither under the provisions of the treaty.

In reference to the circumstances last above mentioned the Chinese consul-general at the port of San Francisco states, in his report to me, that, according to the United States census of 1880, the number of Chinese resident in the United States was over 150,000; that from the day the supplementary treaty of 1880 took effect to the day the act of restriction upon the immigration of Chinese laborers came into force, there were over 12,000 Chinese who left the United States to return to China and who should belong to the exempt class, not to come under the restrictive act 5 that of this number there are over 9,000 who have not yet come back to this country; that since the day the restrictive act came into operation up to the 29th of November, 1887, out of the number of Chinese who had obtained return certificates when they left the United States to go back to China, there were over 31,500 who had not returned hither; and that the number of the Chinese now resident in this country, compared with that of 1880, is lessened by 40 per cent. I am, therefore, of opinion that under the vigilant and strict measures adopted by the customs authorities in their examination of the Chinese coming and landing in this country, the class of Chinese falsely professing to have gone away from the United States and claiming the right to return hither under the provisions of the treaty can not be numerous.

The shocking traffic in immorality alluded to in your note, by which Chinese women were imported into the United States and bought and sold into infamy by their own countrymen is indeed detestable. I had heard of it previously, and I have repeatedly written to the viceroy and governor of Canton on the subject, requesting them to strictly charge the local authorities to make stringent efforts for the arrest and severe punishment of those who are guilty of the crime described. The Chinese at the port of San Francisco who had taken the warning and dreaded the punishment were afraid to give bond for the infamous women who were held for examination in court; consequently the customs authorities were able to prevent them from landing, and the consul-general was able to request the masters of the steam-ships, by which the women had come, to carry them back to China.

The consul-general further states in his report that the steam-ships San Pablo, City of Sydney, and Oceanic, which arrived at San Francisco on the 7th, 15th, and 29th of December, 1887, respectively, each brought only two or three Chinese women who had no return certificates, and who, on inquiry being made, were found to be persons not of infamy; thereupon the consul-general ordered the Chinese merchants of the city, some in large and some in small business, to give joint bonds for them on the condition that, if these women should thereafter be found leading a life of infamy, the Chinese public would entirely withdraw from dealing with the bond givers in business. I will, of course, from time to time, communicate with, the authorities of Canton and urge on them the necessity of strictly prohibiting such traffic, by which means it is sincerely hoped that this evil may be prevented, and the importation into the port of San Francisco of women for immoral purposes may be stopped without further difficulty.

As to your proposition for a conventional arrangement and the draught of a projet indorsed by you, I beg to recall to your attention the fact that this identical projet was sent to me with your note of April 11, 1887, and that I had the honor to send you, on the 10th of August last, a memorandum note containing a detailed reply to your draught of treaty, [Page 383] with a proposition by me for two additional articles which I regarded as essential to acceptance by my Government. It is inexplicable to me why there is no allusion to my memorandum note in your note under reply. If you will take into consideration the articles proposed in my note with those in your proposed draught, without confining yourself merely to the question of restriction upon the immigration of the laborers, but will also include the protection guarantied by the supplementary treaty, and, further, will make provision for the additional claims for indemnity submitted by me, then I shall hope that a mutual agreement as to the conventional arrangement will soon be arrived at.

I would have spoken to you regarding this matter in my last interview with you on the 13th instant, but for the pressure of business on your part. I therefore take pleasure in sending you this reply, and hope soon to have the opportunity to call again to discuss the subject on a day to be designated by you.

Accept, etc.,

Chang Yen Hoon.